P&G, the world’s largest advertiser, is uneasy about metrics. As controversy swirled over Facebook’s misreported video views, the company rolled out stricter standards for its agencies and partners, with its chief brand officer slamming “crappy advertising…experiences.” But the company may have already found one solution to the lack of metrics: its Tide replenishment service.
The Tide Wash Club program cuts out the retail middleman, letting consumers order detergent directly from P&G on a subscription basis. While the program is currently still in beta and only available in Atlanta, an expanded version could yield a trove of data around consumer preferences – providing far more insight than video views and similar advertising metrics.
The on-demand service also helps P&G stave off digitally savvy rivals like Honest and Dollar Shave Club, which offer their own subscription-based options. Consumers expect free shipping, and Tide Wash Club leverages that expectation to lock in replenishment customers. Those added costs are partially offset by the fact that users can only order Tide Pods, which cost more per ounce than liquid detergent.
The Wash Club is just one of several ways that Tide, the top-ranked brand in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Home Care, experiments with unorthodox methods of digital distribution. In Chicago, the brand tested an Uber-style laundry delivery service called Tide Spin, offering generous promotions to boost enrollment. As e-commerce accounts for a growing share of CPG sales, other brands may realize that partnering with giants like Amazon and Walmart is not the only way to get products to consumers.